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5 Private Wealth Groups Investing in Digital Currencies

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As the leading family office and registered investment advisor (RIA) database provider, we continue to see private wealth vehicles accumulate the assets and skills necessary to allocate capital directly into the alternative wealth landscape. Family offices and RIAs are becoming more involved in digital currency, with a growing number of family offices and RIAs directly investing in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology companies. By harnessing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by over 3,120+ family offices and around the globe, we explore five private wealth groups investing in digital currencies. 


1. NXMH (Jung-Ju Kim Family Office)

Established in 2011, NXMH (Jung-Ju Kim Family Office) is a Brussels, Belgium-based single-family office managing the wealth of Jung-Ju "Jay" Kim. In 1994, Kim founded Korea's largest gaming company Nexon, a worldwide leader in free-to-play PC online and mobile games. Nexon later transitioned into a holding company in 2006 under the name 'NXC' with Kim serving as CEO until 2021. NXC went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2011 and has since diversified into cryptocurrency. In 2018, Kim pledged $93M to startups and children's hospitals in addition to his other philanthropic efforts.

NXMH was founded as the direct investment vehicle for Kim. The group operates as a pan-European investment firm dedicated to backing promising brands in the consumer and cryptocurrency spaces. NXMH prides itself on adding value by providing patient capital to entrepreneurial teams while leveraging social and digital connections. The firm has expressed interest in Asian expansion opportunities believing the Asian geography can provide outsized returns. The firm's long-term investment philosophy relies on its ability to deploy flexible capital, data analytics, and the talent of its management team.

Today, NXMH invests across multiple asset classes including real estate, private equity, and venture capital primarily via direct investments. The firm focuses on mid-market companies domiciled throughout Europe and Asia. Typically, the firm invests anywhere between $50M-$250M. NXMH prefers majority investments but may also consider minority equity investments. The group has historically co-invested alongside like-minded investors.

NXMH remains active in its search for investments in the consumer and cryptocurrency sectors and targets profitable companies with a proven business model but will also consider early-stage investments. By favoring a low leverage financial structure, the firm aims to provide room for their portfolio companies to capture growth opportunities and navigate throughout economic cycles. Scalability is a key metric for NXMH, and the firm has historically targeted companies with light asset business models that can easily scale and grow profitability.

In October 2018, NXMH acquired Bitstamp, the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, continuously supporting the Bitcoin economy since 2011. With a proven track record and mature approach to the industry, Bitstamp provides a secure and transparent venue to over four million customers and enables partners to access emerging crypto markets through time-proven infrastructure.

In October 2021, NXMH made a Series B investment in BitOasis, the MENA region’s (the Middle Eastern and North African regions) largest cryptocurrency exchange for BitCoin and 30+ cryptocurrencies. BitOasis clients can trade using local currencies like AED and SAR. Founded in 2015, BitOasis is a pioneer of the region's cryptocurrency ecosystem, serving as the go-to platform for first-time cryptocurrency buyers and professional traders alike. BitOasis is trusted by traders, institutions, and authorities across the region and the world. 

 

2. Willoughby Capital (Daniel Och Family Office)

Established in 2009, Willoughby Capital (Daniel Och Family Office) is a New York, NY-based single-family office managing the wealth of Daniel Och and his family. Daniel is an American billionaire, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. Och is the founder and former Chairman & CEO of Och-Ziff, a multi-strategy asset manager that grew from $100M to $50B in AUM and ultimately went public in 2007 at a $1.15B valuation. In addition to his family office, Och also founded AJAX Holdings, a $750M SPAC company. Willoughby Capital also manages the investments for the Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation, a fund supporting social causes across New York in areas such as community development, family support, and education.

Today, Willoughby Capital invests across multiple asset classes including public equity, private equity, and venture capital via direct transactions. Typically, Willoughby's portfolio holdings focus on software, financial technology, digital currency, and consumer industries. The firm is focused on partnering with market-disrupting growth companies across private and public markets on a global scale. Willoughby has implemented a hybrid public and private investment strategy that generates diversified exposure across multiple asset classes. Historically, the firm employs strategies of buyouts, private growth equity, and venture capital fund to invest capital. Willoughby Capital is comfortable taking a passive minority position or a selective controlling stake. A prime target company will generally have at least $50M revenue and are profitable or have a clear path towards it. 

In June 2021, Willoughby Capital made a Series B investment in Bitwise, one of the largest and fastest-growing crypto asset managers in the world. Based in San Francisco, Bitwise manages over $1.5 billion across an expanding suite of investment solutions. The firm is known for managing one of the largest crypto index funds (OTCQX: BITW), the first crypto industry ETF (NYSE: BITQ), and pioneering products spanning DeFi, Bitcoin, Ethereum as examples. Bitwise focuses on partnering with financial advisors and investment professionals to provide quality education and research. The team at Bitwise combines expertise in technology with decades of experience in traditional asset management and indexing—coming from firms including BlackRock, Blackstone, Facebook, and Google, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

In July 2021, Willoughby Capital made a Series B investment in FTX.US, a US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange with a mission to grow the digital currency ecosystem and become a market-leading US cryptocurrency exchange in the coming years. FTX.US offers BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, PAXG and USDT with significantly more built-out features than other major US platforms.

 

3. Asia Alpha (James Hahn Family Office)

Founded in 1993, Asia Alpha (James Hahn Family Office) is a New York City, NY-based single-family office serving as the private investment office for James Hahn and his family. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Hahn worked for UBS and managed one of Asia's first multi-strategy hedge funds based out of Hong Kong. In addition to his career in the hedge fund space, Hahn made several LP investments throughout the private equity and venture capital spaces. In addition to his investment interests, Hahn is heavily active in philanthropy and has held board seats with several academic and medical institutions including Harvard, NYU, Wharton, Dana Farber, Horace Mann School, and more.

Today, Asia Alpha invests in a wide range of private equity and venture capital investments both directly and via fund vehicles. When investing, the firm considers a range of sectors and industries including software, technology, business services, financial technology, financial services, pharmaceuticals, life science, fitness, biotechnology, communications, therapeutics, and digital currencies, among others. 

Asia Alpha considers a wide range of deal stages from seed to later stage growth equity rounds of funding. The firm has participated in deals that range from $500K-$100M. Asia Alpha regularly looks to co-invest alongside like-minded family offices, venture capital, private equity, and institutional investors. The group invests globally with a focus on New York, Silicon Valey, Asia and Israel. While the firm focuses on these locations, they have also invested across Latin America and other regions.

In March 2021, Asia Alpha made a Series A investment in OpenSea, the first and largest peer-to-peer marketplace for cryptogoods (like an eBay for crypto assets), which include collectibles, gaming items, and other virtual goods backed by a blockchain. On OpenSea, anyone can buy or sell these items through a smart contract. The OpenSea team has backgrounds from Stanford, Palantir, and Google, and is funded by YCombinator, Founders Fund, Coinbase Ventures, 1Confirmation, and Blockchain Capital.

In August 2021, Asia Alpha made a Series A investment in MakersPlace, a marketplace to discover and collect unique digital creations by the world's most creative minds. Artists, photographers, and writers use MakersPlace to create and sell their work online through the use of blockchain technology. Creators can sign and set a limited supply on their work while providing verifiable proof of authenticity, ownership and scarcity on the blockchain. In doing so, creators can better capture the full underlying value of their digital work. 

 

4. WindRock Wealth Management

Established in 2012, WindRock Wealth Management is a Naperville IL-based Registered Investment Advisor providing advisory services primarily for high-net-worth families, individuals, small businesses, family offices, and various entities associated with these individuals. The group operates out of an additional office location in Tucson, AZ. WindRock provides family office and wealth management solutions including asset allocation, portfolio management, selection of other advisors, and research on a wide variety of public and private investment opportunities. WindRock Wealth Management also manages foreign assets.

The firm's approach to identifying alternative investment managers is to utilize the research of several third-party research firms focused on the alternative investment space, some of which have a particular focus on hard assets or commodities. Alternatives of interest include venture capital, commodities, private placements, digital currency, real estate, and oil & gas. In situations where a client has an outside asset with limited investment choices, the firm recommends funds that fit the client’s overall asset allocation strategy. Assets are invested with various investment managers, mutual funds, ETFs, derivatives and private investments.

Today, WindRock Wealth Management manages approximately $214.2M in discretionary assets, a 30% increase since last year. The group employs a team of just 2 employees, both of whom regularly perform advisory functions. Besides its traditional services rendered, the group also serves as an advisor to private funds. The firm currently uses Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. as their sole custodian and houses all assets with the group. WindRock Wealth Management has several industry affiliations including those with Singularity capital management LLC. 

 

5. North Island Ventures (NIV)

Founded in 2017, North Island Ventures is a crypto-focused investment advisor based in New York, NY. Co-founded by Glenn Hutchins, Travis Scher, and James Hutchins, the firm seeks to invest in crypto and applied technology companies. NIV primarily offers advisory services including portfolio management to pooled investment vehicles. In addition to the group’s domestic client base, North Island Ventures also manages foreign assets.

As of February, North Island Ventures manages $68.6M on a discretionary basis, a 50% increase in AUM since last year. The firm employs a team of 5 employees, 4 of which regularly perform advisory functions. Besides its traditional services rendered, the group also serves as an advisor to private funds. North Island Ventures has several industry affiliations including those with Ordinal Holdings ManageCo, LP.

North Island Ventures is takes primary interest in the following alternative investments: private equity, private placements, venture capital, real estate, hedge funds, and digital currency. 


Family Office Review

Family offices are typically private unregulated companies, constructed to manage the wealth and investments of individuals and families with over $100M of investable assets. As their name implies, single-family offices (SFOs) manage the wealth of a single family and serve to centralize the management of investments, taxes, philanthropic activities, trusts, and legal matters, among many others.

Multi-family offices (MFOs) manage the capital of several families by allowing the wealthy to leverage the infrastructure and investment talent already being used by other families. This approach can simplify the process and limit time spent when attempting to set up an entity to advise the direction of their assets.

FINTRX 2021 Family Office Data Report

 

RIA Review

A registered investment advisor (RIA) is any firm advising or managing the wealth of high-net-worth individuals or institutions. Directly regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), RIAs offer a wide range of financial services — from wealth and investment management to direct lending and personal finance education, etc. An important distinction regarding RIAs is the fiduciary obligation to always act in the best interest of their clients.

RIA Monthly Data Report: January 2022


FINTRX provides comprehensive data intelligence on 750,000+ family office & investment advisor records, each designed to help you identify, access, and map the private wealth ecosystem. Explore in-depth dossiers on each family office & investment advisor. Access AUM, source of wealth, investment criteria, previous investment history, sectors & industries of interest, advisor growth signals amongst other key data points.

Additionally, FINTRX provides insight and expansive contact information on 750,000+ decision-makers, featuring job titles, direct email addresses, phone numbers, common connections, alma maters, past employment history, brief bios, and much more. 

 

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